The last event of ELSA UK’s 2017/2018 term, the ELSA UK Barge Party, took place in London on 11th June. It concluded a very successful academic term for ELSA UK, which in the past year has hosted a Christmas Cocktail in London, an International Conference on Energy Law this spring, a Summer Law School on Migration Law in Kent, gained two new member groups and two new observer groups, and is preparing to reach new heights in the upcoming term. At the end of this year, there was no better way to celebrate all that we had achieved and welcome in a glorious summer than a proper party by the river. The spring soiree was hosted at Tamesis Dock, a 1930s Dutch barge with views looking over the River Thames of the Houses of Parliament and the London skyline.
In true ELSA style, el vino did flow, and our very own DJ, Ayush Murarka, filled the barge with laid back summer beats. Among those present, we were lucky enough to have in our midst ELSA members from different generations, countries, and levels. Some were there for their first ELSA event, while others were bidding farewell to the network they had contributed to throughout their studies. For some alumni, it was a warm welcome back to a community that never forgets its members.
ELSA UK’s incoming National Board for the 2018/2019 term was represented along with some of the outgoing board’s officers. Current ELSA UK President Ethan Dodd was in good company as two of his predecessors, Anastasia Kalinina and Orrick solicitor Siddharth Fresa, attended. Anastasia, who currently serves as President of the International Board of ELSA, was present along with her Vice President for Marketing Krzysztof Rumpel. Us organisers were humbled by the level of support shown by our international network for the growth and success of our National Group.
This event encapsulated what for me is the defining element of ELSA: bringing people together from different corners of the world. It was an incredibly enriching experience to be able to meet members from different Local Groups and ELSA members who had travelled from across the Channel to attend. Across all levels of our activities, ELSA officers get many chances throughout the year to meet, interact and become friends. Getting to spend some quality time together at the end of the term is by itself a cause for celebration. Greater yet was to have so many of our Alumni Network in attendance; aspiring lawyers in our midst treasure the opportunity to discuss career trajectories with fellow ELSA members. We are honoured that after all these years they continue to hold their old association in such high esteems and to be so willing to network with young law students, and to offer them the wisdom they wish they had when they stood where we currently stand.
I would like to thank everyone who came, partied, and made the Barge Party a great success. In particular, my co-organiser Hendrik Jonsson, who was there to help me every step of the way. I would hope that this Spring Party would become somewhat of a tradition, to be passed down through each board so that we have this opportunity to come together and enjoy each other’s company free from the stress of academic life.
Shannon McLaughlin is a final year Law student at Queen Mary. She is currently serving as President of ELSA QMUL for the 2018/2019 academic term. She has been involved in ELSA since she began university in 2015 previously serving as Assistant for Study Visits, and Treasurer. Shannon hopes to use the experiences she has garnered in international relations and management through ELSA to one day work in the Public Sector.